A video games console is specialised computer system which can be used with a a television or monitor to display a video game. The term “video games console” is used to distinguish machines designed specifically for playing video games from multi-purpose computer systems which can also be used for playing games.
Consoles have been around in one form or another since the mid 1970s, but they have changed dramatically over the years. Most were originally designed to run cartridge-based games, but modern systems also support optical media, flash memory and games downloaded from the Internet.
Online and multi-player games have become extremely popular, particularly massively multiplayer online games (also called MMOs or MMOGs). These are online video games which can support hundreds or even thousands of players simultaneously and generally take place in a fantasy world. Most of the newer game consoles, can access the Internet and run MMO games, as can mobile devices and smartphones based the Android, iOS and Windows Phone operating systems.
Currently popular games consoles include the Sony PlayStation 3, Microsoft Xbox 360 and Nintendo Wii.
Next: PlayStation 3